Extreme Weather Events Can Disrupt Home Care Services and How Agencies Can Prepare Clients for Them
While weather forecasters and specialized networks that rely heavily on viewership to maximize their revenue are seeking new ways to describe weather events, a ‘bomb cyclone’ sounds frightening and is likely intended to do just that, scare people into watching their broadcasts, the actual event itself can cause serious challenges for millions of people, including home care providers.
Many clients of home care services in Boston, New York, and all the way down to Florida recently suffered from a lack of care for a time when this ‘bomb cyclone’ struck, dumping snow and ice on parts of the south that hadn’t seen any winter precipitation in decades. Those home care agencies that offer services for clients may have been woefully unprepared with contingencies in the event that something like this were to occur.
As a result, those clients had to simply wait and hope for the best. In parts of New York, Connecticut, and the rest of New England, there were people struggling on their own for days as some roads became almost impassible.
According to the New York Times in the article, ‘Bomb Cyclone’: Rare Snow in South as North Braces for Bitter Cold, written by Richard Fausset, Patricia Mazzei, and Alan Blinder:
“The storm, referred to by some meteorologists as a “bomb cyclone” for its sudden drop in atmospheric pressure, prompted flight cancellations up and down the East Coast and forced dozens of school districts to cancel or delay classes along the path of the storm, including New York City schools. It was expected to bring more headaches to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast overnight when New York City was forecast to receive five to eight inches of snowfall and up to 10 inches in Queens and Nassau Counties.”
One method that could improve support for elderly and disabled clients in need of home care services could involve telecommunication methods. If clients has direct access to a video chat feature on their phone, a tablet, or even basic computer system and know how to use it, they could ‘see’ their home care aide, family member, or even a neighbor while talking to them. This could not only provide some extra comfort, but the care provider could determine their level of comfort and ability to manage their own care for the next few hours or days, depending on the circumstances.
Doctors could also be able to check in with some patients who may be at an elevated risk, especially if they don’t have access to visiting nurses during these extreme weather events. Weather can disrupt home care services, which is why agencies should invest in developing plans and let their clients know those plans in the event they do come to pass.